Living Letters: A Reflection on Communicating Across Differences

Research often involves hundreds of hours of behind the scenes work before results come together, ultimately culminating in presenting a snapshot of the project as a whole. This past year has offered me a glimpse into this process through my participation in ASPB’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. Over the summer of 2015 I … Read more

Apply: Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institute for STEM Faculty

ASPB partners with the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE) community on various initiatives. With PULSE, Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) is offering three sessions of a Summer 2016 institute at The Claggett Center in Adamstown, Maryland, for early and mid-career STEM faculty. Applications due March 11, 2016. Session Options: Institute I: July 12–July 17 Institute … Read more

Solanum watneyi & an Oscar-worthy performance by a plant scientist

Dr. Chris Martine (Bucknell University) discovered a species of Australian bush tomato and named it after Mark Watney, the main character of Hollywood blockbuster, The Martian (based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name). As a scientist dedicated to eliminating society’s tendency toward ‘plant blindness,‘ Chris took this opportunity to trumpet how very non-optional … Read more

PlantingScience Fellows Needed for Digging Deeper (with NSF)

ASPB and the Botanical Society of America (BSA) are recruiting 20 PlantingScience Fellows to participate in the Digging Deeper Project. Application Deadline – March 15, 2016 Apply Here Digging Deeper: Developing a Model for Collaborative Teacher/Scientist Professional Development The Digging Deeper project will develop, implement, and test a professional development (PD) model whereby teachers and … Read more

Behind the scenes with Nature’s Depth author John Palka

Many scientists are exploring the use of blogs to share their experiences of science and nature with a wider audience. I asked John Palka, retired neuroscientist (University of Wasthington) and author of the popular blog Nature’s Depths how he got started blogging and if he has any advice to those considering blogging.  Here are his … Read more

PlantingScience – springing into a new term of research in the classroom

ASPB partners with PlantingScience to support authentic plant science research in middle and high school classrooms across the United States and Canada. The spring session kicked off Monday, February 15. Already, almost 120 student teams from 11 schools are online and introducing themselves to their scientist mentors. Many other schools will be coming online soon. … Read more

Winning entries of the December 2015 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition

We had many excellent proposals submitted for the third round of the “Teaching Tools in Plant Biology” competition, from which we selected three for further development. We’ve added another opportunity for you to submit your ideas for consideration as a Teaching Tools, deadline October 1, 2016 (see this for more information). Feel free to contact … Read more

Ugrad Contest: Share Your Story on Urban Sustainability

Three grand prize winners will take home $500 and an all expenses paid trip to New York City — the most populated city in the U.S. — to visit the U.N. headquarters in November 2016 and share their story of urban sustainability with world leaders. Sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Planet Forward Storyfest 2016 is looking for stories about … Read more

Marketing Insights to Enhance Public Engagement with Science

Rebecca Davis, CEO of Ovington, is a marketing professional with a particular focus on the area of public engagement with science. Rebecca spoke at the February 3, 2016, session of the Public Engagement with Science at Societies (PES@S) working group. With Rebecca’s marketing overview and then discussion guidance, the working group focused on these guiding … Read more

Ride the SURF: Tips and advice on applying for the ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Insight from a 2015 SURF Fellow The ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) is a spectacular opportunity to embark on an independent project over the summer, earn money, present your research, and expand your resume. Applying to nationally competitive fellowships is a daunting task. Only 15 students are awarded the SURF (10 from doctoral granting … Read more

Plant Molecular Genetics video lecture series

Previously we shared a list of videos spanning the plant biology part of an introductory biology course at the University of California at Berkeley. A reader shared a link to another plant biology course taught at Berkeley, the Plant Molecular Genetics (PMB160) course, taught in 2012 by Jenn Fletcher and Bob Fischer.  Here is a … Read more

Behind the scenes with In Defense of Plants author Matt Candeias

While updating the materials for upcoming workshops (Nottingham and Potsdam next month) on careers, communication and writing, I asked Matt Candeias, author of the popular blog In Defense of Plants how he got started and if he has any advice to those considering blogging.  Here are his replies. I started In Defense of Plants as … Read more

Explore the New York Public Libraries Digital Collections

On January 6, 2016, The New York Public Library enhanced access to all public domain items in its Digital Collections so that everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways (read more about the collection and the ways you can use it here). The images are browsable, searchable, and … Read more

Introductory plant biology video lecture series

Have you been looking for high-quality, university-level introductory plant biology videos? There are not many available on topics other than photosynthesis and pollination. The University of California at Berkeley publishes videos from many of its course lectures on YouTube. One course of interest to plant biologists is the Introduction to Biology (Bio 1B) course.  The … Read more

Plant Biology 2016: Abstract deadline 25 January

Attending Plant Biology 2016? The conference starts in six months, but if you want your work to be considered for a minisymposium or lightning talk, you need to submit your abstract now (or by 25 Jan, EST). You can read more about the conference, including major symposia topics and speakers, and the countless networking opportunities … Read more

“Characterization of parasitic plant mutants”, accessible research for undergraduate readers

Learning to read a scientific paper is an important skill for undergraduate students to acquire, but selecting a suitable paper to read with undergraduates can be challenging (see this for example). The chosen research article should be accessible (meaning not too much specialized terminology or methodology), interesting, and meaningful. A new Plant Physiology paper by … Read more

Best of Plants 2015: Outreach and Communication

The Martian I don’t know if the book/film The Martian will have a lasting impact on plant science, but it certainly added some thrills to the plant scientists’ year. The story features a space-stranded botanist (although some argue he should have been described as a horticulturalist) who had to grow plants to feed himself until … Read more

Undergraduate Science Writing Impact: Why & How with Wiki Edu

Early in 2015, ASPB established a partnership with Wiki Edu. This post features some simple, yet critical details for understanding and using Wiki Edu to help your students think and write more effectively about plant science. The insights shared here come from  Barbara Alonso (photo), Lab Manager for the Lemaux Lab at University of California-Berkeley. … Read more

Newest Teaching Tool: Light-Dependent Reactions of Photosynthesis

We’re delighted to announce that the latest Teaching Tool in Plant Biology article “Light-Dependent Reactions of Photosynthesis” is published. This article was written by me (Mary Williams), as well Ru Zhong (Carnegie Institute of Science) and Johnna Roose (Louisiana State University). Ru and Johnna are both educators and researchers who specialize in the study of … Read more

Chestnuts featured in #AdventBotany

Last year, Alastair Culham (@BotanyRNG) and Jonathan Mitchley (@Drmgoewild) from the University of Reading teamed up to create a series of blog posts called Advent Botany (advent is the season leading up to Christmas and is traditionally a period of waiting or counting days).  This year Advent Botany 2015 features guest contributions. Today’s post, written … Read more